Ministry of Health Presents MCH Manual

Aedes aegypti mosquito

Aedes aegypti mosquito

As part of Cottage’s village feast, panelists from the Ministry of Health in the Portsmouth Health District gathered to discuss what is now described as an epidemic in several parts on the Caribbean – the Chikungunya virus.

The Chikungunya virus carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito has so far been detected in neighbouring Caribbean islands, causing common symptoms such as fever and joint pain.

Speaking at the panel discussion, District Medical Officer, Dr. Candia Jacob said Dominicans must come to the realization that the virus is in fact caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

According to Jacob the virus has been in existence since the 1700’s, when reports of outbreaks of these same symptoms grew widespread.

Meanwhile, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Clement Macellin says herd immunity and climate change may be mitigating factors to reducing the spread of the vector borne virus.

“Once you develop this form of immunity you will find the numbers gradually decreasing…Climate change may work towards our disadvantage”, he said.

According to Macellin, climate change may propose harsher, more irate conditions, leading to the killing of vector or allow for more torrential rain enhancing breeding grounds for the vector.

The Senior Environmental Health Officer added that source reduction remains as the prevention and key to eliminating the virus.

To date Dominica has over 2,000 reported cases of Chikungunya.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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